ALEX Lesson Plan


Creek War Journals

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Jennifer Bedsole
System: Demopolis City
School: US Jones Elementary School
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 12395


Creek War Journals


After a study of the Creek War, students will explore perspectives of families on both sides of the war. Students will compose journal entries from a selected social class of the era to develop and exhibit an understanding and appreciation for lives led by those who lived during the early 1800's.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
TC2 (3-5)
1. Use input and output devices of technology systems.
Examples: input—recording devices, keyboards, touchscreens
  • Demonstrating ergonomics relative to technology systems
  • Demonstrating correct keyboarding techniques
  • Demonstrating safe removal of storage media
  • TC2 (3-5)
    2. Use various technology applications, including word processing and multimedia software.
  • Using navigational features commonly found in technology applications
  • Identifying digital file types
  • ELA2015 (4)
    24. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences. [W.4.3]
    a. Orient the reader by establishing a situation and introducing a narrator, characters, or both; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally. [W.4.3a]
    b. Use dialogue and description to develop experiences and events or show the responses of characters to situations. [W.4.3b]
    c. Use a variety of transitional words and phrases to manage the sequence of events. [W.4.3c]
    d. Use concrete words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events precisely. [W.4.3d]
    e. Provide a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events. [W.4.3e]
    ELA2015 (4)
    39. Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing. [L.4.2]
    a. Use correct capitalization. [L.4.2a]
    b. Use commas and quotation marks to mark direct speech and quotations from a text. [L.4.2b]
    c. Use a comma before a coordinating conjunction in a compound sentence. [L.4.2c]
    d. Spell grade-appropriate words correctly, consulting references as needed. [L.4.2d]
    SS2010 (3) Geographic and Historical Studies: People, Places, and Regions
    13. Describe prehistoric and historic American Indian cultures, governments, and economics in Alabama. (Alabama)
    Examples: prehistoric—Paleo-Indian, Archaic, Woodland, Mississippian
    historic—Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, Creek (Alabama)
  • Identifying roles of archaeologists and paleontologists
  • SS2010 (4) Alabama Studies
    3. Explain the social, political, and economic impact of the War of 1812, including battles and significant leaders of the Creek War, on Alabama.
    Examples: social—adoption of European culture by American Indians, opening of Alabama land for settlement
    political—forced relocation of American Indians, labeling of Andrew Jackson as a hero and propelling him toward Presidency
    economic—acquisition of tribal land in Alabama by the United States
  • Explaining the impact of the Trail of Tears on Alabama American Indians' lives, rights, and territories
  • Local/National Standards:


    Primary Learning Objective(s):

    Students will explore the culture of Native Americans and pioneer settlers during the Creek Wars of the early 1800s. Students will illustrate the perspectives of individuals affected by the Creek War through journal writing.

    Additional Learning Objective(s):

     Preparation Information 

    Total Duration:

    Greater than 120 Minutes

    Materials and Resources:

    Resource books that describe the events leading to and occurring in the Creek War, chart paper or transparencies, paint brushes, string, tea bags and water to provide tools for creating an aged appearance to journals, overhead projector

    Technology Resources Needed:

    Computer with Internet access, word processing software, LCD projector or other projection device


    This is a history lesson following a study of the Creek War. Students should be familiar with the history between Native Americans and European settlers. Factors should include the following:
    Europeans' greed for power and wealth since the explorers/conquistadors,
    Europeans' disregard for Native Americans' lives and culture,
    Native Americans' suspicion, fear, and even hate of Europeans because of their mistreatment,
    Settlers' fear of Native American violence stemming from stories and rumor, and
    Change and division in Native American cultures as a result of European invasion.
    Emphasize to students that not all settlers and not all Native Americans felt the same about one another.
    Teacher will need to preview and bookmark the websites listed in the attachment.

    1.)By discussion or listing, review the events leading to and surrounding the Creek War, 1813-1814 (settlers and some Indians vs. Redstick Indians}:
    a) American settlers' waste of natural resources and desire for new land westward;
    b)The suggestion by the U.S. government (President Thomas Jefferson) of a federal road that would bring settlers through and into Indian territory,
    c) Tecumseh's angry speech expressing hatred toward the white race and encouraging all Indian tribes to unite to unmercifully kill the white men, women, and children, and
    d) The great earthquake of 1811 which many interpreted as a sign from a higher power to fight for their land/beliefs.

    2.)List some key figures that played a role in the Creek War. These could include: Thomas Jefferson, Hopoithle Miko, Benjamin Hawkins, William McIntosh, Pushmataha, William Weatherford (Red Eagle), Davy Crockett, Andrew Jackson, Sam Dale, Menawa, and John Coffee.

    3.)Have students brainstorm:
    How do we know about these people and these events? (journals or letters they wrote)
    Were they the only people at the time writing journals or letters? The teacher should at this time point out that "regular" people--settlers who were fighting and not fighting, their wives, children, Indians who were fighting and not fighting, their wives and children--were also involved in or affected by the Creek War and also wrote letters and kept journals. NOTE: All Native Americans did not have a written language. Shortly after the war in 1820 Sequoyah created the Cherokee alphabet.

    4.)Guide students into taking on the perspective of these different profiles. These could include: a Redstick warrior, wife of a Redstick warrior, child of a Redstick warrior, a Tennessee militiaman (or other volunteer fighting), wife of a militiaman, child of a militiaman, Indian fighting against Redsticks, Indian not fighting (friendly with settlers),etc. Share with students some of the Internet resources included on the attached list. Read pertinent excerpts aloud together, particularly the first-person accounts on the first website from the list. These will help provide background information for the assignment.

    5.)Have students brainstorm (whole class, individually, or small groups) what a typical day during the Creek War was like for each of these individuals. Questions might include:
    What were their jobs, chores?
    How did they feel?
    What may their hopes have been?
    What might they have been scared or fearful of? *Remind students to keep in mind the technology and family roles of both cultures in the early 1800s.

    6.)Tell students that they will be writing a journal entry from the perspective of a listed profile of "regular, everyday" people during the Creek War. Model the writing assignment for students using chart paper or an overhead transparency. Write a sample journal entry from the perspective of one profile. What the teacher writes should come primarily from student input. However, guide students' statements for accuracy and be sure to address all parts of the writing prompt. Encourage students to come up with realistic dates for their journal entries (example, September 29, 1813), but remind them that their chores and activities should match the time of year. For instance, a child wouldn't write about wading in the creek and catching frogs during winter months.

    7.)Check again for understanding of writing prompt. Provide students with the rubric to be used for grading their writing. Assign individually or to small groups of students (2-3). Profiles can be chosen or assigned at random. Make reference materials available for students to use when questions arise. Encourage students to revisit the websites viewed earlier.

    8.)Upon completion, allow students to type their stories. (Test beforehand for color-fastness of printer ink. If ink is not color-fast, students should hand write the entries in ink.) Encourage students to choose a font that looks "handwritten," if available.

    9.)Briefly soak tea bags in water. Carefully tear the edges off the typed paper. Be certain that ink has dried completely. Allow students to use paintbrushes to carefully "stain" (not soak) their typed journals with tea for an old, antiqued look. As papers dry, they should wrinkle slightly to add to the effect.

    10.)Complete the project by combining students' journal entries in a "Creek War Journal" laced together with string. Share these with other fourth grade classes as they study the same topic.

    **Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download.

    Assessment Strategies

    QUIZ: Imagine you are a(n) [insert profile here] at the time of the Creek War. Write a journal or diary entry describing the way you feel, what you may have done that day or week, and your hopes and fears.
    A rubric will be used to assess the journal entries written in class.


    Teacher could have students write letters to develop dialogue between similar profiles on different sides of the war. For example, the wives of a Redstick and a militiaman could begin writing one another. The women could discuss what they have in common--doing their regular chores (cooking, cleaning, sewing, gardening) as well as taking on their husbands' role while he is fighting; worrying about him not coming home; wondering what will happen if their people lose.


    BEFORE OR AFTER: Most students have done journal writing at some point in their academic experience. However, some students may not be as familiar with personal journaling done at home, or privately. The teacher may bring several inexpensive, blank journals to show at the beginning of the lesson. Discuss how keeping a journal at home for fun differs from journals you might keep at school as a requirement. (You may be more willing to say what's on your mind, write as little or as much as you feel, etc.) Model by writing a journal entry that tells what you've done today, what's on your mind, what you hope/fear, etc. Have them write one with you. Next, write and share several brief sample journal entries from one profile to be sure students comprehend the assignment.

    Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

    Presentation of Material Environment
    Time Demands Materials
    Attention Using Groups and Peers
    Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
    Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.